My soft bits came in! I haven't tried smoking with one yet, but I put a few on a couple pipes. So much more comfortable now! This is going to be a big help for me now.
I'm at the opposite end of the tunnel, where a pipe stem without a bit feels weird. Now I won't smoke a pipe without one. Took a while to get used to them though. Like driving a car with a really soft suspension.It's been a bit since I've been here. Well, I've been smoking less pipes this past winter. But the weather has changed, and those lovely briars and cobs are again starting to see the light of day. Once again, porch sitting weather is at hand!
The other reason I've backed off the pipes is now the stems feel a bit weird in my teeth. The rubber bits help quite a bit. Definitely took it from uncomfortable to weird. But I'm determined to get over that this porch season.
In other news, I've really taken to St. Bruno (the ribbon cut). I think I've found the secret to dark fired Kentuck, mix it with stuff! Like whatever they've mixed it with. It gave me a warm familiar feeling like deja vu in a pleasant way. Like Carter Hall made with Kentucky instead of non fired burley. It packs a pleasant punch and I can see how it's someone's all day smoke. Like introducing a whiskey drinker to scotch.
It was the taste that was offputting for me. I believe there are silicone ones out there, which may be more neutral, but the rubber bites I tried were awful.
Now THAT'S a good idea!COO is very important with these. Make sure they are US or European made. Those should be tasteless, odorless, and last a long time. I get about a decade out of the EA Carey ones. I'm still working off a bag of 50 from God-knows-when. Softy Bits is the other big US maker, and they have been around forever. I'm sure there must be a UK manufacturer of these.
[Snip]Softy Rubber pipe bits, the original soft, Rubber,durable, comfortable tobacco pipe stem mouthpiece protector. Protects pipe mouthpiece stems and tips, and helps protect your teeth while smoking your pipe.softybits.com
One of the other gentlemen here bought food-grade tubing from a big box store and uses that, cutting off bits as needed. They've got to be a bit harder than the soft rubber ones (no pun intended), but his are clear, which is nice on a designer stem. Different horses for different courses.
Outstanding!So Mrs. Rookie declared yesterday as a day of hobbies. Seeing my chance, I hopped in my car and hit 2 of my top favorite B&M shops and picked up a pair of basket pipes for work. And while there, I snagged a couple tins. So now I have some good looking work pipes that can get knocked around in my pocket, with plans on grabbing a Dr. Grabow from the last drug store in my area that still sells them very soon. I used cobs in the past, but I got a little tired of the hillbilly jokes. And these, honestly, look a little nicer to customers walking in.
At the first shop, I picked up a tin of C&D Oriental Silk. That's been a favorite of mine for a little bit. I got it in bulk, but it was so dry it had to be rehydrated before smoking. I hope the tin will be better. The second shop stocks Sutliff aros and most of Mac Baron's tins. So I walked out with MB Symphony and Sutliff Blend #5. I hope to have my work blends in the big ol purchasing spree of April. Although if the past is any indication, my work tobaccos will be a codger or codger match. But either way, I'll still have good "windows open" smokes (tobaccos I can smoke on the front porch and Mrs. Rookie doesn't give me dirty looks as she shuts the windows) or basement workshop smokes.
And now, because everyone loves pictures, View attachment 1253270 View attachment 1253272